I was recently asked by a reporter (writing something for the upcoming Sun Run) why, since the qualifying window for the Olympic marathon opened up January 1, 2011, I wasn’t simply running as many marathons as my body could handle from now ’til the Olympics (or until I hit the qualifying time). There’s a long and a short answer to that one. I gave him the short answer. I told him you can only really run 2 (maybe 3) good marathons in a 12 month cycle, and probably only 1 at your absolute best. So, that by continually racing marathon after marathon you may run several good ones, but at the same time may be preventing yourself from running your absolute best. I’m not sure he bought that logic, I’m not even sure the evidence is there to support that logic myself. But, it’s the philosophy and plan we’ve adopted and I’m sticking to it.
I got thinking more about this as I’ve been reading previews for the slew of upcoming spring marathons including Rotterdam, Paris, London, and Boston. I was given the opportunity quite soon after the marathon I ran in Sacramento to run the upcoming London Marathon. For a variety of reasons I decided not to run. Early on in my post Sacramento marathon training I was happy with this decision, as my training was going poorly and I thought there was no way I’d be ready to race a marathon again by April. But, more recently, on occasion I’ve thought ‘geez I wish I’d given it a go’. One of those moments was post-NYC Half marathon. But, alas, I’m not racing a marathon this spring and I think in the long run I’ll be better off.
In addition to not believing I have more than 2 ’good’ marathons in me in any 12 month cycle, we also felt it was important to continue to develop as a distance runner all around. Last night, after doing a speed session on the track, I introduced myself as a marathon runner to a few guys about to start their own workout. . Having just watched me complete my workout the one guy said ‘geez, a marathon runner with that type of speed, you should be running some 1500s’. I was sort of glad to hear that ’cause although I do feel the marathon is the event I have the best shot at qualifying for 2012 in, I still feel I have a lot of improving to do at shorter distances. And I’m glad we’ve blocked off a period of time in my training and racing to try and get better at non-marathon events.
The workout I did last night showed me I still have (or have gotten back) some decent speed. But, I’m still not quite where I want to be in terms of speed endurance. A key workout like 6x1600m at 10k-5k pace is something I still really struggle with. From about 2007-2010 I didn’t really try to hit key workouts like this for 5000-10000m development. And that shows now, as sometimes I struggle to find a that zone where I’m just trying to survive one more rep or one more lap. But, I think I’m coming around.
Next up, Vancouver Sun Run (10km road race). More on that soon………….
This song has been getting me through my post run/workout icebaths (If you live in or around Montreal go see this guy on
April 12 May 12 (o0ps) at Il Motore)